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private trade

At first the Company tried to stop its employees, known as servants, making money on the side. But in 1674 it introduced rules for private trade.

Some commodities were still entirely reserved for the Company. But there were concessions. Ship owners and officers could carry a certain percentage of their own cargo to and from Asia. Servants and ex-employees, still settled in the factories, could trade port- to- port in Asia. They could also send back selected goods to England. Precious stones, musk, ambergris, certain spices and textiles interwoven with gold and silver thread were all legitimate.

Survive and you could make a lot of money.

  Elihu Yale    

Governor Elihu Yale by Enoch Zeeman
Copyright of Yale University Art Gallery. Gift of Dudley Long North, MP in 1789
(click image to enlarge)

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Why IndiaCulture & CuriosityFactors & FortsPrivate Trade Textiles Politics